Award Winners

Honors Scholar and Emerging Honors Scholar of the Year Award Recipients (2023)

The 2023 winners are Hannah Harris of the University of Mary Washington (Honors Scholar of the Year) and Brianna Michaels of Ferrum College (Emerging Scholar of the Year).  The VCHC is grateful to have Hannah Harris and Brianna Michaels studying in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The selection committee judged their personal essays exceptional, and letters of support superior in their detailed account of academic and co-curricular accomplishments.

Hannah Harris will graduate from the University of Mary Washington in May with degrees in both Biochemistry and English. She chose Mary Washington, in large part, because of the Honors Program and the community and opportunity it afforded. From planning bonding events for Honors students as chair of the Honors Student Advisory Council to helping organize and run City as Text, the Program’s early arrival course, she has connected to the Honors community in all ways possible, and she will leave a better person because of it. Hannah will attend the George Washington University School of Medicine in the fall, an opportunity presented to her by GW’s Early Selection agreement with UMW Honors. Right now, she is interested in specializing in family medicine or anesthesiology. Ultimately, she moves forward, hand open, to receive whatever is next.

Brianna Michaels is both a student and an athlete who demonstrates how one's experiences in Honors studies can positively affect their life inside and outside the classroom. She utilizes the knowledge and skills she has learned in class and on the softball field to grow as a person and have a beneficial impact on those around her. Bright and modest, she is always kind to others and works well in a team on school assignments and in softball. Brianna demonstrates strong leadership qualities in her experience organizing and planning events with the Advisory Committee of her college’s Honors program and her time management skills in being a student-athlete. She is committed to displaying determination and grit in all of her academic and athletic endeavors, continuing to use her skills to her advantage while pursuing a college education and the sport she loves. As such, Brianna is determined to go on to apply herself as a dependable and hardworking person in every aspect of her life.

Awardees of these scholarships receive – courtesy of the VCHC – registration at the annual conference, a $500 cash prize, and the recipient will also have the opportunity to address their peers at the VCHC meeting, where they will have an opportunity to receive further acknowledgement and speak about being a part of an honors community and what that means to them.